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NOW CLOSED: Cleaning - Love it or Loathe it: talk to Ecover - you could win a £200 John Lewis voucher!

(123 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 19-Mar-12 13:31:44

Ecover would like to know about your top cleaning tips - whether you use tried and tested advice passed down from generation to generation, or you have recently stumbled across a magic remedy. What is your best eco friendly cleaning tip?

Also, Ecover are interested in how cleaning makes you feel. Do you see it as a therapeutic Sunday afternoon activity that you look forward to or do you do anything and everything else to put off the chore? Perhaps you multi task and combine cleaning with an energetic, calorie-burning routine, or maybe you encourage your DCs to give a helping hand? Or does your DH/DP do it all?

Are you so house-proud you spend an hour cleaning before letting anyone through the front door or do guests get to see it how it is - whatever state that may be?

All those who do add their tips or comments to this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £200 John Lewis voucher.

Your comments and tips may be used anonymously on Ecover's website and possibly elsewhere.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw

missorinoco Mon 19-Mar-12 13:51:13

Tips - break it down. If you don't have time either do one room at a time, or one type of cleaning. e.g bathrooms, dusting.

Bicarbonate of soda on the bottom of the oven is amazing for absorting drips. it looks revolting, but works a treat. Actually, I quite like baicarb as a general cleaning product. Dissolved in water it is a great leaning product for the fridge.

Quickly dusting after you have used the vacuum cleaner is NEVER a good idea.

How does it make me feel? Satisfied. I hate it when my house is mucky. I wouldn't say look forward to cleaning, I have too many other things I need to be doing, but if I have a sneaky day off without the children I usually do some cleaning, and enjoy the completed task.

FirstLastEverything Mon 19-Mar-12 13:57:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kveta Mon 19-Mar-12 13:57:18

I hate cleaning. But I hate living in squalor too.

My tip is to just keep it above the dysentery line whilst you have small children. they don't care how clean and tidy a house is, and won't remember it when they are older - but they will remember helping you bake a cake and spreading flour over every available surface. So don't clean too much would be my eco-friendly tip grin

And encourage children to help from an early age - my 2.6 yo DS loves to 'hoove' the house with his toy hoover, and gets very excited when we let him dust or sweep the floors. Although I know this level of enthusiasm will not last (if DH and I are anything to go by!) I'm hoping to make helping with the cleaning a normal part of life, and not a chore for him.

My DH has a tip from when he was growing up too - one morning a weekend (normally sunday) was cleaning day. All of them - his mum, dad, brother, and him, all had a task or two, and only once it was all done were they allowed out for the day. This helped them all see that it is EVERYONE'S job to keep their house clean, not just a job for the owners of ovaries...

EauRouge Mon 19-Mar-12 13:59:46

Tips? Lower your standards grin Here's a real one- to clean your microwave, put a slice of lemon in a bowl of water and nuke it on high for a minute. It'll loosen up the grease and you can just wipe it away with a cloth, no scrubbing needed.

When I have finished cleaning, I feel relieved. I hate cleaning.

TBE Mon 19-Mar-12 14:00:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kveta Mon 19-Mar-12 14:04:14

EauRouge I always used a mix of vinegar and water microwaved for a few minutes - will have to try the lemon though, the vinegar one is not appreciated by DH!

TheCunningStunt Mon 19-Mar-12 14:05:44

I love cleaning. It's my form of therapy!! I meditate when I am doing it blush. I try to be mindful (in the Buddhist sense) when I do it. So I enjoy it for what it is and keep my mind focused just on the task at hand. My mind doesn't wander then and I actually get a chance to just shut down my head for a few minutes.

I clean daily, Then I can keep on top of it I find. A little, and often.
The kids tidy their rooms at the end of every day, stops toys being lost or broken. We also try (doesnt always work) to keep all toys upstairs.

Agree about bicarb as a great cleaning aid....vinegar is good too!

Top tip is just keep on top of it, then it's not a chore.

foxeeroxee Mon 19-Mar-12 14:08:35

I find cleaning soooo therapeutic and satisfying (loser!!! :-D).
Dd and ds love messy activities... sticking, painting, bringing mud pies in the house etc and i love it when its all tidied up and clean (and kids been bathed and in bed :-D)

My oh thinks im bonkers because everything has a place and it drives me nuts when people dont put things back where they belong.

Oh dear i really need to get out more. :-/

HugADalek Mon 19-Mar-12 14:11:00

I clean in fifteen minute bursts, with a timer, a la FLYlady. I find that the job always seems bigger in your head than if you just go at it for quarter of an hour. Breaking the cleaning into little chunks makes you see your progress quickly.

LadySybilDeChocolate Mon 19-Mar-12 14:14:27

Do little bits often and stay on top of it! If you're going from one room to another (ie, living room to make a drink), take something with you that belongs in that room (ie, dirty plate). Children can help, make it into a game and you can get them doing most of the work for you. Share the work out between the family, it's unfair for one person to do all of the cleaning.

HipHopOpotomus Mon 19-Mar-12 14:16:48

We both work full time, and have 2 young children.
For me the priority in the weekend is kids, not cleaning - so I try to get bits done during the week.
I'm messy, DP is good at tidying and floors, I'm better at deep cleaning & find it satisfying so together it fits.
Our biggest issue is lack of space but hope that will change this year.

Number one eco tip? - water, vinegar and a little dishwash liquid, rubbed off with newspaper is the best way, by far, to clean windows. But it's getting harder to find newspapers these days in this online world. I just don't buy them anymore.

Indith Mon 19-Mar-12 14:18:17

I hate doing it but it makes me feel good when it is done. If I've fallen behind then my mood gets worse along with the house.

I have 2 week old dc3 at the moment so as you can imagine the house has not been very tidy for a while as I was very pregnant and shatered and now have a small baby. Hygiene is important though so my tip for those struggling is to give yourself a break. Normally I use homemade cleaners (bicarb, vinegar etc) but the past few weeks I have found a pack of antibacterial multipurpose wipes very useful so I can wipe one round the basin and loo seat or over the kitchen sink and surfaces just to make sure the important stuff is clean even if I can't put the baby down long enough to actually clean properly. So my floors are filthy, there are piles of stuff everywhere and I desperately need to get back to a routineof daily jobs but at least I know the important stuff is ok (even if I feel guilty every time is use a wipe).

stealthsquiggle Mon 19-Mar-12 14:20:11

I loathe the idea of cleaning, but when I am forced to actually do it, I find it strangely satisfying. We employ a cleaner who ensures that the house stays on the right side of health hazard.

My DM's advice was always - if short of time before visitors arrive, straighten piles, shake duvets out over beds, and spend all the time you have on hoovering for maximum return on time invested.

springchickennugget Mon 19-Mar-12 14:26:14

i do it a room at a time and time myself for different jobs as I loath it. My top tip would be to make sure you clean floors thoroughly, so that dirt accumulated under skirting boards etc doesn't get shaken out leter on making the room a lot dirtier a lot quicker.

ChunkyMonkeyMother Mon 19-Mar-12 14:38:50

There are jobs which get done daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal-ly and annually.
I don't mind hoovering, wiping and keeping everywhere generally clean but it's the bigger jobs (scouring the shower, oven, clearing out rooms etc) which I dread! I do find that having a certain time table helps, again this is done on a short, medium and long scale - there is usually a big project each month. This month it is clearing, cleaning and tidying the playroom to make it into a spare room. It's bloody boring and my ability to procrastinate and hoard is second to none - this is a 2 man job though so DH is on tidying up duty and I'm making a brew ... Honest

Next week will be the windows inside and out with my trusty newspaper and last week was my shower with the fab hair removal cream tip!

I hate tidying but I do feel better once it's done ... If only because it gets my mother off my case!

shortie3 Mon 19-Mar-12 14:51:12

I like cleaning when I am finished!
I really don't mind it and do it daily to ensure I can keep in top of it. I do different floors (3 story house) each day but will prioritise if somewhere has gotten dirty. I prefer it when it is sunny since it easier to see the dust, messy fingers prints and spiders webs! We have seasonal clearouts of wardrobes and hard to reach to places. I use eCloths and have different ones for each room to minimise the need for cleaning fluids. But must admit, I do like the smell of bleach for toilets (boys and aimming!)

I am one of those people that like a tidy house when people visit and this includes playdates since parents normally stop for a tea at pickup. Both DS's are tidy and will pickup toys. DS1 (4.10) has just started to help dust (will do it afterwards!) and DS2 (2.1) loves putting things in bins and putting his placemat away. My DH does minimal cleaning but he takes care of the gardening and ironing (am really rubbish at it)

rubyrubyruby Mon 19-Mar-12 15:02:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

naturalbaby Mon 19-Mar-12 15:05:22

I love cleaning. I can't relax properly until everything is tidy and clean. Although my big regret is I spent more time cleaning than interacting with ds2 when he was a tiny baby, I cleaned like it was therapy to cope with 2 under 2's and building work. DH and my mum offer to help clean sometimes but I'd rather they entertain the kids so I can do it properly myself.

I go into meltdown if we get last minute visitors and the house hasn't been hoovered/cleaned/polished for a few days.

I have microfibre cloths in every room, and the car, so everything and anything can get a quick clean if I've got a few minutes. I also have a window E cloth which is brilliant. Most of our cleaning products are Ecover, DH is unconvinced about the washing up liquid though, probably because that's the only bit of 'cleaning' he's allowed to do!

mumatron Mon 19-Mar-12 15:10:31

my tip would be to get everyone in the house their own box. at the end of the day I collect up all the crap that has been left around and put it in the respective box. The dc then take their own stuff and put it away.

makes tidying up so much easier when there is less clutter around.

I love cleaning but rarely get the time to do the big clean I really want to.

I recently tried the ecover washing up liquid but didn't really rate it tbh. i had to use a load of it to get any decent bubbles and they didnt last long at all.

ohmeohmy Mon 19-Mar-12 15:11:48

I don't mind cleaning too much but I hate tidying. Lack of former tends to prevent much of the latter!

Generally to a blitz when the mess is doing my head in.

flamingtoaster Mon 19-Mar-12 15:14:51

It is the feeling when you tidy and clean that before long you will be doing it all again that irritates me! I do like it when at least the downstairs is clean and tidy.

One thing I hate is cleaning windows - so to do the outside I wait until there is a good rainstorm and they are nice and wet and I go out and squeegee them - no streaks and very environmentally friendly!

PostBellumBugsy Mon 19-Mar-12 15:20:56

I love my house to be clean & tidy. I work full-time & have 2 DCs, so I have a very efficient cleaning routine.

Hoover entire house every Saturday or Sunday. Takes me an hour to do the entire house. DS mops the kitchen floor for me. He's been doing this since he was 7 - he is 12 now & very good at it!

Kitchen: cleaned daily, as I use it. I have virtually nothing on the surfaces, so it is really easy to keep clean. Fridge gets a weekly wipe down & microwave is wiped every couple of days.

Bathrooms: I keep window scrapers in the bathrooms, so DCs & I will always scrape the shower down after we use them, so the glass always looks clean & you don't get any limescale build up. I clean each bathroom on a weekday night. Again there is nothing on the surfaces, so it takes no more than a few minutes & DD wipes the floor for me.

I do woodwork dusting about once every two weeks. Top tip here is to wear old socks for cleaning around the bannisters & skirting boards - much easier than using a cloth.

I clean windows whenever they look grubby. Use nothing more than newspaper and water. Completely free & works a treat.

Laundry is done on a load by load basis & dried on an airer & in the airing cupboard. Ironing is done in a weekend blitz (the DCs help with this) and occasional bits during the evening.

We have plenty of storage. Ever since the DCs were little, they have had to put their toys away every night and help to keep their rooms tidy. They don't really have toys now, but everything still has to go away at the end of the day. They are really good about putting their stuff in the laundry basket & making their own beds etc.

The oven is my nemesis & I usually pay a company to come and do this once a year.

I have a thing about anti-bacterial products. I think they just encourage bacteria to become resistant and I won't ever buy them. I use very simple, cheap bleach based products for cleaning.

Top tips:
It is much easier to keep a tidy house clean.
Never leave a room empty handed.

StarlightDicKenzie Mon 19-Mar-12 15:24:26

Love it?

Who the feck loves it?

LaVitaBellissima Mon 19-Mar-12 15:24:42

I hate cleaning

"Once the kitchen is clean you can have 3 chocolate biscuits, a cup of tea and mumsnet" <self bribery grin>

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